Junior Renee Dillow’s golden goal four minutes into the second overtime gave the Los Lunas High School girls soccer team a hard-fought win over Del Norte in the season opener on Tuesday.
“It was a great way to start the year,” said head coach Pat Powers of the Lady Tigers 2-1 victory. “I thought we were going to start like we finished last year. But things went in our favor. It felt good.”
Powers was referring to the six double-overtime games her team played in last year. The team lost more than its fair share of those games, winning two and losing four.
“It’s a test to go that kind of length in the early part of the year, but we were mentally ready to win that game,” Powers said. “We wanted to win that game, and that was the difference.”
Los Lunas had to work hard, playing in temperatures in the high 90s. And the Tigers had to come from behind to earn the win.
Del Norte controlled play through most of the first half and scored the only goal of the half.
But Los Lunas had the chance to regroup at halftime, and their desire to win burned hotter under the sweltering sun.
With just four minutes left in regulation, Kristin McDevitt scored the equalizer to prolong the contest.
The Knights nearly ended the game early in the first 10-minute overtime, but the Tiger defense cleared the ball away, and no harm was done.
The game-winner came after Dillow picked up the ball at midfield and took it all the way in for a one-on-one shot against Del Norte goalkeeper Ashley Burch. “I didn’t have a very powerful shot, but it hit the corner,” said Dillow. “I’m glad it did because I think the game was ready to be over.”
While the Tigers got off to a good start, not much else has gone good so far this season. The Tigers lost two of their best players to injury during practice. Kelsey Schmidt was fitted with a cast to protect her sprained ankle and did not play on Tuesday. Coach Powers said she hopes to have Schmidt back by the district season. On Thursday, Paige Powers dislocated a shoulder and is expected to miss three weeks.
Tiger boys — After starting the year with three wins at the Clovis Invitational last weekend, the Tiger boys soccer team lost two games this week to two of the state’s elite soccer schools — Sandia and La Cueva.
On Tuesday, the Tigers lost a road game to third-ranked Sandia, 4-2. Omar Vargas scored both of Los Lunas’ goals.
Los Lunas was humbled in its home opener on Thursday, mercy ruled by second-ranked La Cueva.
The Tigers were playing without two of their defensive starters and lost goalkeeper Roger Vaughan midway through the first half with a red card. “After that, the flood gates opened,” said head coach Eliseo Aguirre.
Eagle soccer–The Belen High School boys soccer team earned its first win of the season with a 4-0 victory over West Mesa on Tuesday.
Abe Anderson scored the Eagles’ first two goals on assists by Jason Monceballez. Monceballez added a goal of his own, and Bryan Costilla chipped in with a score.
On Thursday, the Eagles lost at home to Gallup, 2-0, to drop their record to 1-2.
The Lady Eagles improved to 4-1 this season with two wins this week. They routed West Mesa, 10-0, and won at Gallup, 2-0.